Tommy Doyle, dying breath, sends Sheffield United into FA Cup semi-finals

Tommy Doyle took matters into his own hands to give himself a chance to emulate his grandfathers by playing at Wembley Stadium as he propelled Sheffield United into the FA Cup semi-finals with an impressive injury-time winner against Blackburn.

The Manchester City loanee has been watching video footage of his paternal grandfather Mike Doyle and maternal grandfather Glyn Pardoe playing at the National Stadium for City in the late 1960s and 1970s and he could be joining them now after his 25-yard blitz on had scored a dramatic 3-2 quarter-final win at Bramall Lane.

His goal completed a late reversal as United were on their way out, falling short of goals from Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Szmodics for the final 10 minutes, falling on either side of Sam Gallagher’s own goal.

Oli McBurnie equalized for the Blades in the 81st minute before Doyle’s exploits in a thrilling tie secured the Blades first place in the FA Cup semi-finals since 2014.

It’s been tough for Blackburn, who have yet to play at new Wembley, but their full attention will now be on their promotion push to the Championship.

Second-placed Paul Heckingbottom has an even stronger position in the league and the manager said ahead of the game that it has the potential to be one of the biggest weeks in club history.

They had the early advantage and in the eighth minute they had a fine chance to take the lead.

James McAtee raced to John Egan’s defence-splitting pass but never looked confident of scoring as his shot was well parried by Rovers goalkeeper Aynsley Pears.

Ben Brereton Diaz put Blackburn in front with a penalty (Nigel French/PA).

But it was Blackburn who took the lead in the 21st minute after they were awarded a penalty following a VAR check.

It didn’t seem obvious at the time, but Gallagher’s shot caught Jack Robinson’s outstretched arm and referee Tim Robinson awarded a penalty after checking the pitchside monitor.

Brereton Diaz fired home from 12 yards for his 14th goal of the season.

The Blades’ reaction was quick and they equalized six minutes later.

A cleared corner fell to Max Lowe 25 yards away and his fierce attempt went wide until it caught Gallagher’s knee and was deflected into the far corner, leaving Pears a helpless spectator.

Sam Szmodics celebrates Rovers' second goal

Sam Szmodics celebrates the Rovers’ second goal (Nigel French/PA).

The second half started evenly with both sides having chances to take the lead.

Blackburn were thwarted by a fine double save from Wes Foderingham, who held Harry Pickering’s feeble effort well and then got up even better and blocked Brereton Díaz’s follow-up shot when the net seemed certain to buckle.

The hosts’ best opening came in the 57th minute when a stray pass from Lewis sent Travis McAtee on target again, but another poor finish saw Pears save with his legs.

And that error looked like it could prove crucial as Blackburn continued three minutes later.

Lowe’s poor touch in a dangerous position resulted in Gallagher winning the ball. He pushed Szmodics on target and there was no mistake as the midfielder fired into the bottom corner.

Tommy Doyle celebrates his winner in front of Sheffield United fans

Tommy Doyle celebrates his victory in front of the Sheffield United fans (Nigel French/PA).

The visitors sniffed glory and Ryan Hedges was inches from killing the game but his low shot hit the inside of a post and rolled over the goal line before heading to safety.

The Blades barely slammed the door in search of an equaliser, but one came out of nowhere in the 81st minute.

McBurnie shrugged off two challenges in the area before rolling a smart finish into the far corner.

It was one-way traffic after that and Doyle completed the turn in good style in the first minute of added time, heading home a throw that Pears was unable to parry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *